Plain abdominal film is the method of choice in the assessment of intestinal obstruction. This technique exhibits some limitations and must be frequently correlated with other diagnostic tools. Of them, US has been recently reported to allow the morphofunctional study of intestinal loops with high accuracy. Nevertheless, the literature on the usefulness of US disregards a sign of great interest, i.e., extraluminal fluid between bowel loops. Our personal experience in 56 adult patients with surgically confirmed small bowel obstruction suggests that this findings, demonstrated by US in 43 patients (73%), identifies early intestinal wall damage with high sensitivity. US, depicting fluid between bowel loops, can distinguish the various stages of obstruction, with major consequences on clinical management. US and plain abdominal film findings allowed us to distinguish three stages of obstruction: simple obstruction (15/56 patients, 27%), uncompensated obstruction (26/56 patients, 46%), and complicated obstruction (15/56 patients, 27%). These three evolutive stages exhibit different severity and require different surgical approaches.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Jun 1995|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging